When I was growing up, the concept of the savory pie didn’t really go farther than the mince pies that my dad would get to enjoy at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, mostly because the thought of meat in a pie so completely revolted me that I ignored it and happily went on eating my grandmother’s apple pie in peace. Even as I got older, the thought of eating anything but fruit in pastry seemed alien to me–I never got into Hot Pockets (though Jim Gaffigan has shown me that I haven’t missed much there) and frozen pot pies out of the box weird me out with their peas and gloopy sauces.
Then college came, and I finally tried my first calzone. Why it had taken me until I hit the age of 19 to try one of these is one of those mysteries I will never solve, but my guess is that my parents don’t care for them and figured that ordering pizza was always a safer option. My first wasn’t remarkable on its own (after all, it came from the cafeteria), but it showed me that dough and savory ingredients did belong together, so long as they more resembled a pizza folded into itself rather than anything I previously associated with only containing fruits.
All that considered, my calzone (and stromboli) consumption was still unremarkable, as I tend to default to pizza whenever the opportunity to order it arises. So when this past weekend’s Cook and Tell on Serious Eats presented the challenge of making one’s own savory pie, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try my hand at revisiting a dish that gets too often ignored around these parts, and the results were pretty freaking fantastic.
While it seems like a lot of cheese goes into the recipe below, keep in mind that it will yield leftovers–I could barely make it through half of mine due to the cheesy richness, but for me, that’s only prolonging the magic for another day.
Calzone with Fresh Mozzarella, Ricotta Salata, Prosciutto, Sun-Dried Tomato and Thyme
Serves 2 with leftovers
- 1 quantity pizza dough, divided
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella, grated
- 1 cup ricotta salata, grated
- 3 oz of prosciutto, cubed (I picked up a 4oz container of cubed prosciutto because it was the cheapest option at the store)
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- One egg, lightly beaten and with a tablespoon of water added (for egg wash)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine cheese, prosciutto, tomatoes, and thyme in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and set aside. For each dough ball, gently stretch into a circle shape and place half of the filling on one side of each circle. Fold remaining half over, pinch dough to close, and transfer to a baking sheet lined with foil and cornmeal (the cornmeal is optional, but adds a subtle texture). Brush with egg wash, and bake for 15 minutes (you may want to switch to broil for the last few minutes in order to get more of a golden brown finish on the crust).
Serve with your favorite sauce. Buon apetito!